Julio Cesar (Julio Cesar Soares de Espíndola)

A highly talented goalkeeper with a prolific record & a Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year award under his belt

Position: Goalkeeper

Height: 5'10" / 1.79m

Weight: 172lbs/ 79kg

Date of Birth: 03/09/1979

Birthplace: Brazil

Current Team: Benefica

Overview

Julio Cesar is a skilled professional footballer that currently plays for Queens Park Rangers as a goalkeeper. He officially became a professional player in 1998 when he signed a deal with Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, a partnership that went on to last a hefty six years before he moved on to bigger and better things. Since his time at Flamingo he has been party to a number of notable victories including Brazil's win at the 2004 Copa America, Inter's success in the Serie A league, and less impressively an unused goalkeeper in the 2006 World Cup, also conceding a disappointing four goals in a total of five matches in Brazil's 2010 world cup campaign.

After a relatively slow start at Flamengo and a subsequent increase in pitch time after his first year at the team and in the rest of his six years there, Cesar went on to sign with A.C Chievo via Internazionale in a lucrative contract that led to a stint at Internazionale Milano. His presence was initially limited to being a substitute for Francesco Toldo but after some intensive training became Inter's first-choice goalkeeper, going on to play in three hundred matches for his team.

2012 saw Julio Cesar joining Queen's Park Rangers on the basis of a four-year contract, though saw his team relegated from the Premier League not long after this. He saw more match time when he played on loan for Toronto FC from February 2014 but returned to QPR in July 2014 and in August signed to his current team S. L. Benefica in a two-year deal.

Flamengo

Cesar's time at Flamengo lasted six years, during which time he made quite an impact. During his six-year stretch at the club he saw the team through a number of victories in regional championships , earning several trophies; these included four Rio state championships. Cesar's debut 98-99 season didn't see him get much pitch time, spending much of the year benched and unable to utilise the momentum he had built and the skills he had acquired from his time at the football academy.

His second year saw Cesar enjoy more time on the pitch, quickly becoming part of the team's starting line-up and securing his position as the team's first-choice keeper. His time at the team came to an end in 2005 after appearing in 130 matches and earning adulation as the team's greatest goalkeeper.

Onward to Internazionale

2005 saw Cesar joining Chievo through Internazionale as he was unable to join the latter club due to rules in Serie A that limited the number of non-EU players that can be signed to the club. A deal was reached in 2005 that saw Cesar officially moving to Internazionale however, resulting in a two-year contract that ran Internazionale a bill of ?2.45 million.

Cesar's time at Internazionale somewhat mirrored his period at Flamengo in the sense that he was initially used as a mere substitute player for Inter's first-choice goalie Francesco Toldo. After this initially quiet period (and after a bout of rigorous training), his presence as a first-choice goalkeeper for the team was more frequent and led to him finally being Inter's first-choice keeper from the 06/07 season onwards. Before leaving Internazionale, Cesar racked up an impressive 300 caps as the team's first-choice keeper, finally announcing his intentions to leave in July 2012.

QPR and Toronto Loan

Cesar's next move involved a four-year contract with Queen's Park Rangers, the signing of which was confirmed on 29th August 2012. Unfortunately, circumstances transpired that led to QPR's relegation from the Premier League, effectively leaving Cesar omitted from a great deal of matches, effectively being frozen out of play. Cesar didn't leave the club before the closing of the transfer window however, leaving him in a non-playing limbo that was eventually broken by a cap in January 2014 (though QPR lost 4-0 in this match against Everton).

February 2014 saw circumstances improve for Cesar due to a loan agreement that led to him playing for Major-League Soccer team Toronto FC. The rationale for this move was to allow Cesar to enjoy some match time before representing Brazil in the 2014 World Cup. His performance was impressive and even led to him receiving the award of the MLS Save of the Week in the season's 7th week. The Toronto loan was recalled in July 2014.

Benefica

August 2014 was the month that Cesar signed with his current team, Benefica, in a deal that is set to last two years. His season hasn't gotten off to the best start however, with Cesar conceding a goal in his debut match against Moreirense Futebol Clube.